POSCO, the largest steelmaker in Korea, has revved up its business for producing precursors, a key element in EV batteries. The firm is now expected to accelerate its company-wide project for producing anode.
On Jan. 14, China’s Huayou Cobalt said that Huayu POSCO – its joint venture with POSCO, has begun producing the precursor, which will be supplied to both POSCO and its affiliate POSCO Chemical. Annually, Huayou POSCO has secured the capacity to produce 30,000 tons of the material.
In 2019, Posco established two separate joint ventures with Huayou Cobalt for producing precursor and cathode. They plan to inject a total of 1 billion yuan into them.
As one of the world’s largest producer of cobalt, Huayou Cobalt has the capacity to produce half of the global demand for cobalt needed for batteries. It can also produce nickel, which is being increasingly used to enhance energy density.
Currently, LG Chem is a key buyer of cathode for POSCO and POSCO Chemical. LG Chem recently completed phase one investment in its EV battery plant No.2 in Nanjing Binjiang Economic Development Zone. The LG affiliate plans to invest KRW 2.1 trillion in phases by 2023 to produce up to 32GWh batteries.
Including the production from POSCO Chemical’s domestic plant, POSCO has secured up to 20,000 tons of anode per year. This year, it plans to further raise the volume to 45,000 tons.
Precursor is essential for producing anode, which accounts for 40% of the battery production cost. NCM anode is made by mixing precursor with lithium.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.